Jimmy Kimmel, the comedy talk show host, highlighted the competitive spirit of Kobe Bryant when the Laker legend was a guest in his show a few months after he retired. Kimmel, who would later share how he and Kobe started in LA at about the same time, showed the Laker legend a clip of the Lakers celebrating the end of a losing streak.
He then asked Kobe, “Would that happened if you were there? Would there be a celebration...?”
Kobe’s look stopped Kimmel mid-thought.
I was reminded of that clip when I saw El Capitan, Stephan Schrock, berating his teammates after the Azkals’ 3-0 win over Guam the other day, a win that kept them on course for the Asian Cup. It was an impressive showing for most fans, me included, and I was willing to give the fellas a break in the instances that they faltered.
But not for Schrock, it seems. Not for the competitive captain who bleeds red, yellow and blue. Had you only seen that clip and not the whole match, you’d think we lost and didn’t win by a comfortable margin.
He wasn’t happy. Why? I can’t say for sure but if you really think about it, we ought to be happy that the captain was unhappy.
But first, there was a lot to be happy about. There was Oliver Bias (pronounced like Diaz), providing that lovely assist to Angel Guirado for the first goal. And oh, prior to that, Jefferson Tabinas’ through ball started it all.
Late in the second half, Bias almost had the same play but Mike Ott couldn’t finish. Bias, too, had a shot at goal but he went for the near post and missed. He so deserved that goal but I guess we’ll wait some more. By the way, seeing him play all over and make those nifty crosses with both feet makes me wonder if he is a right-footer or a left-footer? He’s really comfortable with both.
Then there was Mark Hartmann. We’ve forgotten how he’s so deadly in set pieces and he reminded us with that third goal.
It could have been more and perhaps that’s why Schrock wasn’t too happy at the end of the match. Jarvey Gayoso and Hartmann were streaking upfront in the dying seconds but Gayoso’s pass was almost two meters behind Hartmann.
Bernd Schipmann also almost became a meme when he was almost outside the box when he tried to catch a cross. But, mind you, while his eyes were on the ball, he had the presence of mind to know he was outside the box and to head it harmlessly to a corner, away from Guam.
Yeah, I was happy with that win, considering it was just the second game for the senior team in 19 months. I’m happier too that Schrock isn’t contented with that showing. The guy’s standard for the team is not the same as that of the average fan. A captain showing why he’s the captain.
China’s win over the Maldives assured as of our entry in the third round of the Asian Cup qualifying, where the Philippines will be one of 24 countries competing for the final 12 spots for the Asian Cup.
To get there, we need a performance that would have El Capitan smiling after every game. That little pep talk, I’d like to call it a pep talk, after the Guam victory serves as a reminder to the new guys that their job is far from over.